Salmon Creek Trail is a hiking trail in Monterey County, California. It is within Silver Peak Wilderness and Los Padres National Forest. It is 5.3 miles long and begins at 312 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 10.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 6,063 feet. The Salmon Creek parking is near the trailhead. The Rest Area CA-1 parking and the Spruce Creek Camp and Estrella Camp sites can be seen along the trail.
Salmon Creek Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"What could be more perfect than a hike that begins with a stunning waterfall, meandering through shady woodlands interrupted by open stretches for Pacific views before dropping you on the banks of a cool creek?"
--Linda and David Mullally, Best Dog Hikes Southern California (Falcon Guides).
"Salmon Creek Trail is at the southern end of the Big Sur country in Monterey County, 2.2 miles north of the county line. A waterfall this dynamic and so close to San Luis Obispo County had to be included. A short hike leads to Salmon Creek Falls, where a tremendous amount of rushing water plunges from three chutes. The water drops more than 100 feet off the Santa Lucia Mountains onto the rocks and pools. Under the shady landscape of alders and laurels, a cool mist sprays over the mossy green streamside vegetation."
--Robert Stone, Day Hikes in San Luis Obispo County, California (Day Hike Books).
"Salmon Creek Trail is at the southern end of Big Sur country in Monterey County, 2.2 miles north of the county line. The trail follows the first portion of the Salmon Creek Trail to a dynamic waterfall. A short hike leads to the base of Salmon Creek Falls, where a tremendous amount of rushing water plunges from three chutes. The water drops more than 100 feet off the Santa Lucia Mountains onto the rocks and pools. Under the shady landscape of alders and laurels, a cool mist sprays over the mossy green streamside vegetation."
--Robert Stone, Day Hikes on the California Central Coast (Day Hike Books).
"The Buckeye Trail offers some of the best day-hike and overnight options in the Silver Peak Wilderness. If you can arrange a shuttle vehicle, point-to-point trips include: (1) 1.5 miles to Soda Springs Trailhead via the Buckeye and Soda Springs Trails; (2) 7.9 miles to the Cruikshank Trailhead via the Buckeye and Cruikshank Trails; and (3) 8.4 miles to Alder Creek Camp via the Buckeye Trail. Regardless of your itinerary, Buckeye Camp is a highlight. Perched amid an open meadow, the camp is roomy enough for a group outing."
--Analise Elliot Heid, Hiking & Backpacking: Big Sur (Wilderness Press).
"The Salmon Creek Trail runs through the deep interior of the Silver Peak Wilderness in the Santa Lucia Mountains. The trail connects the coastline with the 3,000-foot South Coast Ridge Road. This hike follows a short section at the beginning of the trail to the dynamic Salmon Creek Falls, where a tremendous volume of water plunges from three chutes. The beautiful waterfall drops more than 1 00 feet off the vertical rock face, crashing onto the rocks and pools below. A cool mist sprays over the mossy green streamside vegetation under a shady landscape of sycamores, maples, alders, and bay laurels."
--Robert Stone, Day Hikes around Big Sur (Day Hike Books).
"The Salmon Creek Trail begins at stunning Salmon Creek Falls and follows the southeast wall of the V-shaped canyon through forests and open slopes. There are far-reaching views up the canyon and down to the ocean. The trail, which cuts across the Silver Peak Wilderness to the South Coast Ridge Road, leads to Spruce Creek Camp and Estrella Camp, midway to the road. After Spruce Creek Camp, the cliffside path parallels Salmon Creek, overlooking endless cascades, small waterfalls, and pools. Estrella Camp sits in a large grassy meadow under the shade of oak, pine, and madrone trees."
"This route offers several day-hike and overnight options. Don’t miss the 0.2-mile round-trip day hike along Salmon Creek to Salmon Creek Falls. Though the falls are visible from the highway, be sure to brave the crowds on this popular trail. Another spectacular day-hike destination is Upper Salmon Creek Falls, 2.6 miles up the Salmon Creek Trail, between Spruce Creek and Estrella Camps. A short, steep unmarked spur leads down to the thundering falls, which cascade over large moss-covered boulders into an iridescent pool. Pause for an invigorating swim in spring and summer. Expect a quick dip, as water temperatures reach the high 50s Fahrenheit at best."
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